Premier League: Arsenal vs Leicester City
Emirates Stadium – Friday, August 11 – 19:45 BST (14:45 ET)
Match Odds: Arsenal 4/9 – Draw 100/30 – Leicester 11/2
Arsenal vs Leicester City: Preview
The 2017/18 Premier League season kicks off on Friday evening as Arsenal welcome Leicester City to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal will be feeling confident ahead of this one as they came from behind to win the Community Shield last weekend against Chelsea on penalties. This game will have more of a competitive edge than the usual curtain raiser, but we can expect Arsene Wenger’s side to be up for it.
The Gunners really need to mount a title challenge for the long haul this season. Wenger’s extended contract did not please every Arsenal fan, so there is added pressure to deliver.
There have been a number of changes to the Arsenal squad in the transfer window. The defensive addition of Sead Kolasinac looks to be a strong signing. While Alexandre Lacazette has come in to lead the line, he should add the killer instinct Arsenal fans have been calling for.
Leicester City have had a busy transfer window so far, with Kelechi Iheanacho their biggest signing. He has proved to be a deadly finisher in his Premier League career, needing just a sniff of a chance.
Craig Shakespeare’s efforts to guide Leicester to stability last season earned him the job on a permanent basis. He will be looking to prove to the board he is the right man for the long term, but knows how big of a task this opener will be. The Foxes finished 12th last season and will be hoping to better that position once again.
They’ve spent big on some quality additions to the squad but are looking increasingly likely to lose Riyad Mahrez. Their key playmaker has made it clear he wants a new challenge but has been respectful of the club, so there shouldn’t be unrest in the squad.
Arsenal vs Leicester City: Team News
Arsenal will be without some familiar faces for the opener. Alexis Sanchez is injured and his future with The Gunners remains up in the air. Santi Cazorla will also miss out, while Shkodran Mustafi, Jack Wilshere, Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin and Gabriel Paulista are all doubts. New boy Kolasinac is expected to make his debut.
Leicester City are expecting to be without new signing Vicente Iborra. While there are doubts surrounding the fitness of Islam Slimani, Robert Huth, Kelechi Iheanacho and Danny Drinkwater.
Arsenal vs Leicester City: Key Points
Key Stat: Arsenal have won their last seven home games against Leicester in all competitions.
Key Player: Alexandre Lacazette – There is pressure on Arsenal’s marquee signing to score the goals to push them towards the title. He scored 129 times in 275 games for Lyon so has a big reputation.
— Alexandre Lacazette (@LacazetteAlex) July 30, 2017
Arsenal vs Leicester City: Prediction
Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City – Goals in the opener. There is pressure on the Arsenal squad to prove they are title contenders this season, so they need to hit the ground running. Although they have key players absent, they should be able to pick up three points on Friday night. Leicester are going to cause teams trouble this season, but they are up against it here.